DSC not mandatory for Service of Notice u/s 148: Delhi HC

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DSC not mandatory for Service of Notice u/s 148: Delhi HC

 

SUMAN JEET AGARWAL (W.P.(C) 10/2022, CM APPL.16/2022)

 

Facts:

  1. The JAO uses the ITBA software to generate Notice under Section 148 of the Act of 1961, and thereafter, the ITBA software triggers an e-mail, with the Notice appended as an attachment, using the e-mail ID of the JAO, which is sent to the assessee’s e-mail ID.

 

  1. In the event the JAO omits to affix his/her DSC to the Notice within 15 days from the date of its generation, the said Notice (without DSC) will be automatically triggered by the ITBA software system through e-mail and it will also be shared on the E-filing portal’s database.

 

  1. In case the JAO opts to generate the Notice without DSC, the Notice is generated in an un-editable PDF format on the ITBA portal. Upon generation itself, the ITBA software’s e-mail system is triggered and an e-mail containing the said Notice (without DSC) is sent to the e-mail address of the assessee and also uploaded on the E-filing portal, which is accessible by the assessee for his/her viewing.

 

  1. After the generation of Notice by the JAO, a unique Document Identification Number (‘DIN’) is assigned by the ITBA to the said Notice and once a DIN has been assigned, the JAO loses complete control over the Notice.

 

  1. Now the question was whether Sec 148 notices generated without affixing DSC are valid?

 

Notes: 

As per the provisions of Section 282A (2) of the Act of 1961, if a document duly mentions the name and designation of the officer, it would be considered authenticated.

 

Further, as per Rule 127A of the Income Tax Rules, 1962 (‘IT Rules’), every communication in electronic form by an Income Tax Officer shall be deemed to be authenticated if the name and office of the officer are mentioned in the e-mail body or printed on the attachment to the e-mail.

 

Hon Delhi HC held as below:

  1. The affixation of DSC in notices issued under Section 148 of the Act of 1961 has not been made mandatory.

 

  1. As long as the requirements of Section 282A of the Act of 1961 and Rule 127A of the IT Rules are followed the notices would be considered to be authenticated.

 

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